By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Strong indications have emerged that the reconciliation moves initiated by the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi between his close contender in the just concluded Governorship primary in Ekiti State, Engr. Segun Oni appears to have collapsed, as Oni has threatened that he would leave the party if members of his political family are intimidated by any caucus.
Oni expressed regret that he had got reports about how his supporters were being allegedly harassed with threat that they won’t be accorded any recognition if the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi wins the July 14 poll.
Oni appreciated Fayemi’s gesture and respect by immediately visiting
him barely six hours the election result was declared, saying unity
of purpose and friendliness could only be sustained if the Minister
could rein in his supporters to engender cohesion within APC.
The party chieftain stated that he would only return to his former
position of APC National Deputy Chairman(South), if leaders of the
party ask him to take up that challenge.
In the keenly contested primary, Fayemi polled 941 votes to defeat
other 32 contestants, with Oni coming second with a total votes of
Speaking with journalists in Ifaki Ekiti on Tuesday, Oni said he was
ready to change the mindset of Ekiti politicians that defection
remains the only option after losing an election as a popular and
acceptable politician by staying put in APC.
“I am still in APC,we are loyal party men. I decided to contest to
give our party the probability to win. The contest was not about me.
Our people must learn a new lesson that when you enjoy goodwill and you lose a primary, the next thing is for you to move to another party,with a thinking that you will win.
“Even if you enjoy goodwill, it is not good to expend it that way. So,
we are not leaving APC , but I have a responsibility to protect my
supporters . But this habit of winners take all and what we are
hearing that Segun Oni boys will be in the cooler for four years if APC wins is what I won’t tolerate.
“We are approaching a windstorm, which is the election and I believe
we need to take caution on both sides. As much as we are ready to work with the winner,they too must be receptive and be trusting.
“We are not scavenging, neither are we scavengers. We have been
receiving pressures from different parties that we should come for the
tickets, but we said no, because we want this to be an example and
become a new thinking that when you lose the primary, you must stay in your party even when you are popular.
“But if they continue to harass my supporters, I may quit the party,
because I have responsibility not only to protect them but ensure that they are not taken for a ride”, Oni stated.
On the level of money that was involved in prosecuting the primary
election, Oni revealed that money played prominent role in mobilizing
the delegates for the highly pulsating poll.
The former governor suggested option A4 in electing the party’s
candidate, describing it as being more representative and inclusive
than the delegate system.
“Money played a prominent role in the election and virtually every
aspirant was guilty of it. But let me say, our party won’t tread this
path again, because a situation whereby few people are allowed to
elect a candidate and see it as opportunity to maximize their profit is dangerous.
“Any serious political party must guard against that. So, I believe
that every member of a political party must be involved. This will
make it more representative and more inclusive than allowing few
individuals turned themselves into opportunists and avenue to make
making”, he said.